Abraxas’ forces led the party to an intersection behind the chamber and the platform it rested upon in the immense cavern there in the heart of Enceladus. Motioning for them to run, run, so as not to be seen. “She must not see you, for if she does, you will never know peace, nor will you be safe. Move! Now! My lord can hold her off but only just. Make your way through Enceladus this way.” The creature pointed a talon towards their left. “Do not veer right, as her forces will be watching there. Good luck!” It then launched itself upward and out back towards the front of the platform. But Iricah called out to it
“Wait! Wait,” cried Iricah. “But how did you know we would be here, it’s been years?”
“My master has watched for the signs, Madam Iricah,” it said in it’s gruff voice, “You will owe your life to him, should you escape! Do not forget! All of you!” It flew off into the dark chamber towards the front of the platform where others stood, Abraxas as well. But they were looking up, not in their direction.
Areia couldn’t help herself, she watched from around the entryway.
She saw several winged dragon men lit on the platform, next to Abraxas. Their wings tucking together behind their backs. Their scales did not look like Thrak’s. Thrak’s scales sometimes resembled a metal. One might describe them as metallic. The scales of these creatures looked as though they were made of steel. One stepped forward of the others, took a knee and spoke quickly. “Father, she has been summoned.”
“How much time do we have young one?” Then to the other, “Did they steer towards Melf’s side as I told you?”
“Yes, M’Lord.” Said the first.
“We have…,” the other began. A flutter from above made them all look up. Circling and spiraling downwards in the darkness were more winged dragon men. But there was something larger above them. The air around them, still and silent became a wind. Blowing down at them from above. These creatures though did not have scales of steel. Their scale were a blue hue. Deep and dark blue.
A woman drifted down among them, appearing on the platform a few yards on the other side of Abraxas. An incredibly beautiful woman, with long blonde hair. She walked forward and stopped. The wind picked up around her, as if she was making her own, just by her presence. She radiated power, and confidence. Her pale blue eyes shone brilliantly, and her blue dress flew around her in waves. “Hello, Abraxas. It has been a long time. You have not come for me, as you said you would.”
“You have not been yourself, my love.” Said Abraxas.
She spoke in a patronizing and belittling tone. Her words were laced with resentment and sarcasm. And there was anger. Like a slowly forming boil, there, under the skin. “You said you would never leave me, my love. You said we would never part! That our transformation would keep us together for all time. YOU LIED ABRAXAS!!!!! YOU LIED!!!!!” As she grew enraged, her eyes shone brighter, and the air around her pulsed with energy. Abraxas, so confident, so powerful himself stepped back.
“I have not lied, Hasai. I weep for you. You are not yourself. You have not been yourself for a very long time,” cried Abraxas and the raw power in his voice was now over shadowed by the hurt. His pain had boiled over long ago.
“Where are they, my love? You know I will find them. I have watched the signs, just as you have. I know what to look for mighty Abraxas!”
The woman began to transform. Her arms and legs rippled, wings grew from her back. “GIVE THEM TO ME AND WE CAN TAKE THEIR POWER!!!! TOGETHER WE CAN LAST THE DARKNESS!!! WE WILL RAISE AN ARMY AND WE WILL TAKE GAIA!!! WE WILL BE THE MASTERS ABRAXAS!!! DO NOT FEAR!!!!”
Abraxas and his servants slunk back while Hasai and her forces gathered together. Before long, the traces of the blonde woman were completely gone. Alighting on the platform, a gigantic dragon. Bluer than the afternoon sky. “Find the travelers, bring them to me!”
“What is happening?!!” asked Thrak.
“Just some dungeon and dragons,” said Areia, whipping her head back around smiling. “Things are about to get real out here!”
The metal on their persons began to sizzle and shimmer, coins clunk together and the hair on their arms and necks stood up. Flashes of bright energy shone into the hallway from where they hid while the sounds of cracking and rocks or other heavy things falling met their ears. It was a massive battle out there. Roaring replaced the exchange of words. Shouts of the dying from either of the two sides. They couldn’t be sure. Areia tried to peer around again, but a bolt of lightning struck near where she was at sending her backwards on her backside into the hallway. “Let’s move back a ways into the hall shall we?!”
They shambled off into the unknown where Abraxas’ follower had told them to go. But they deadended in a a series of short hallways. Three, one straight and another to either side. Behind them the sounds of the battle grew ever closer. This time there was a voice, like steel scraping over rocks. “Give them to me, Abraxas, or it will be your death!!!!!”
They huddled at the end of the tunnel not sure what to do, waiting to see what might happen, when from down the lengthy tunnel, a large metal form, shiny like steel blocked their view. It was massive and shook the whole tunnel around them as it hit the side of the cavern wall outside the entry way. It roared just as a bright flash of light illuminated the part of it they could see. Then, they heard a voice, somewhat familiar, only much more grand. Much more wild and powerful.
“I can only hold her off for so long inside here. This portal is now closed to us, seek the ark in Far Realm! Goodbye my goodly masters. Please tell Tiresias I tried. My loss was too great. Tell him I am sorry I dwelt in darkness for so long. I will no more!”
The fight that must be happening out there sounded enormous. Suddenly, a thunderclap boomed all around the tunnel and dust and debris began to fall from the tunnel ceiling. ‘Cave in!” shouted Iricah. The battle grew eerily quiet. But around them, the mountainous sturcture quaked. They stood there, waiting, listening to their breathing, but they knew they had to do something. And then they heard a boom, and a blast of energy that was like a giant wave crashing on the shore. The tunnel around them began to collapse. They rushed back to the dead end alcoves. The dust settled. They were sealed in.
“Looks like a DM’s railroad,” moaned Areia, taking her dice out, “Let’s do this.”